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How To Build Self Confidence And Prepare Yourself For Success In Life

How To Build Self Confidence And Prepare Yourself For Success In Life

Do you act in a way that’s governed by other people’s opinions?

Do you continually stay in your comfort zone for fear of failure?

Do you fear making mistakes and cover them up before anyone finds out?

Do you feel you need constant recognition for your successes to feel validated?

Or do you simply find it hard to accept compliments?

Self-confidence is something we all want but for a huge number of us, it can be a struggle in our day-to-day lives.

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If you say “yes” to any of the above questions, it means you still need to work on strengthening your self-confidence. And the key to overcoming low self-confidence is understanding what it is and ways we can combat it head on.

The Difference Between Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem

Many people can’t differentiate these two concepts. While they may seem similar, there are fundamental differences between self-confidence and self-esteem.

Self-confidence is about our ability to trust in ourselves and how we deal with challenges or difficult situations. Self-esteem is our cognitive and emotional assessment of ourselves that is connected with our worth.[1]

Both of these don’t always go hand in hand. Someone with an abundance of self-confidence may have significant low self-esteem. A typical example of this would be a performer who can stand on stage to thousands of people but who destroys himself with alcohol and drugs behind closed doors.

The great thing about working on raising your self-confidence is that it’s much easier than working on your self-esteem. By boosting confidence first and foremost, you can then be better equipped to target any self-esteem issues.

Self-Confidence Level Determines How Successful You Are

Self-confidence is crucial when it comes to our learning and capabilities. Our confidence can affect our performance and relationships with others and is a much stronger indication of success than self-esteem.[2]

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And this is down to what we believe is true about ourselves. Our beliefs influence heavily what we think we are capable of. In other words, mindset is a big determinant in how much self-confidence we have.

If we believe we are no good at a task then our performance is lessened significantly. The influence our mind has on our abilities can be the difference between performing well or performing less than our actual capabilities. Fears are therefore fundamental to our level of confidence and transcends throughout different areas of our life.

How Can We Build Up Our Self-Confidence?

There are many ways we can build up our self-confidence so what are some good hacks we can apply to our day-to-day lives?

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

If you have low self-confidence then the advice of ‘being yourself’ can be detrimental. This is where faking confidence can really help you move forward with success. Paying attention to how you want to present yourself to others can give you clarity into striving to act in this way.[3]

Sometimes it’s easier to change from the outside in – in other words, once we get used to acting in a confident way, it can become more familiar and we can start to see positive results.

Your Every Gesture Counts

Body language is an important way to convey confidence. When we have low self-confidence it can be apparent in the way we physically hold ourselves. Standing up tall and even doing power poses (think Superman) can change the way we think to that of confidence. Try it throughout the day and see the difference it makes. Talk more slowly – taking time to think about what you want to say – and making eye contact will give the impression of confidence.

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Here’s a video that gives you more idea of how to act with confidence:[4]

Dress For Confidence

Studies have shown that what you wear can have significant influence on how you feel and act.[5] Dressing up in clothes that make you feel confident can change your attitude and outlook on a stressful situation.

Change Your Mindset

Mindset is extremely important when it comes to confidence. Confident people focus on more positive thoughts and outcomes than negative ones. Try to change your perspective and habit of thinking – focus on abundance rather than lack. Know that the outcome doesn’t necessarily reflect your abilities.

Celebrate Small Wins

People with low self-confidence have a tendency to put a lot of pressure on the bigger picture. The secret to building more confidence is to focus more on the small steps we take. Direct more significance to small wins and celebrate them as this will help you realise how far you’ve come. In essence, become your own cheerleader.

See How You Become A Better You

Taking up a new skill like learning a language can help you to build up confidence. Seeing improvements and keeping track of progress will instinctively build up how you see yourself in terms of ability. It can also help distract and calm the mind, blocking any worrying or overthinking that may arise from other areas of your life.

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Recommended Reading Material

    If books are your thing, then You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is an excellent read to help you build your confidence and tackle your fears. It provides inspirational stories and easy exercises to follow all in a humorous and relatable fashion. It helps you to identify the behaviours and negative beliefs that are keeping you back from being the fully confident person you’re capable of being!

    So, remember building confidence is really a combination of mindset and changing our detrimental behavioural patterns. But the key is knowing that low self-confidence can be overcome.

    “Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport

    Reference

    More by this author

    Jenny Marchal

    A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

    How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

    How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

    There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

    The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

    For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

    1. Feeling Eager and Energized

    This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

    2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

    The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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    3. Still No Action

    More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

    4. Flicker of Hope Left

    You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

    5. Fading Quickly

    Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

    6. Vow to Yourself

    Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

    Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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    How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

    Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

    To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

    1. Feeling Eager and Energized

    This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

    2. Plan

    Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

    3. Resistance

    Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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    What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

    4. Confront Those Feelings

    Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

    Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

    5. Put Results Before Comfort

    You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

    6. Repeat

    Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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    Final Thoughts

    Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

    If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

    Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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